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Samsung Galaxy S6 Gets Bent

It's a Bendgate redux. Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphones bend and break under less pressure than Apple's iPhone 6, according to one report.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Night At The Museum
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Night At The Museum
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Don't sit down with Samsung's Galaxy S6 in your back pocket, especially if you weigh more than 110 pounds. Tests conducted by Square Trade Labs show Samsung's darling smartphone bends and, eventually, breaks under pressure.

Samsung says not to worry.

When Apple debuted the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last fall, the Bendgate fiasco quickly surfaced. Consumers claimed their 6 Plus handsets bent under normal use, such as sitting down with the device in their back pocket. Videos across YouTube showed just how pliable the 6 Plus was, and one showman even destroyed the phone with his bare hands. Now it's Samsung's turn.

Square Trade Labs, a mobile insurance company, employed a three-point pressure test on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge to find their fail points.

Using a device called the BendBot, Square Trade found the Galaxy S6 Edge will bend and deform under 110 pounds of pressure -- the same as the iPhone 6 Plus. The S6 Edge will break and cease working entirely when submitted to 149 pounds of pressure. Apple's phablet could take more punishment, and functioned until the BendBot applied 179 pounds of pressure.

[Read about Samsung's chip partnership with Apple. ]

"As manufacturers strive for larger screens on thinner devices, they can be more susceptible to bending or snapping," said Jessica Hoffman, head of communications for SquareTrade. "Bendability may be good in the yoga studio, but it is not what you want in a mobile device."

True that.

Samsung, however, says the tests aren't fair and don't depict the type of abuses to which phones are normally subjected.

"The video assumes a very specific condition -- 110 pounds of force -- which rarely occurs under normal circumstances," explained Samsung. "The normal force generated when a person presses the back pocket is approximately 66 pounds. Our internal test results indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are not bendable even under 79 pounds."

Further, Samsung complains the test doesn't show how strong the back surfaces of the devices are because Square Trade Labs only applied pressure to the screen and not the back.

Samsung plans to provide Square Trade Labs with an official statement, and suggested testing techniques to demonstrate the device's true strength.

"All our devices are put [through] rigorous high-quality validation tests before they are delivered to consumers. These tests include various conditions, such as dropping, bending, and breakage. And we are confident that all our smartphones are not bendable under daily usage."

Apple said pretty much the same thing when Bendgate reared its head last fall.

Quite frankly, it would be more interesting to see how the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, both made from metal and Gorilla Glass 4, perform compared to the Galaxy S5, which was made from plastic and Gorilla Glass 3.

If you're in the market for a new flagship smartphone, don't be put off by Square Trade's tests. Almost all phones break under certain conditions.

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